NBA News: Dwight Howard Ignores Boos In First Trip Back To Houston Since Leaving Rockets
Feb 04, 2017 05:53 AM EST
Thursday night's game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Houston Rockets may seem like any ordinary game for basketball fans. It's a game that most certainly flew under the radar and not marked on the NBA calendar schedule. Except this is not just any other game for Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard.
Dwight Howard returned to the Toyota Center for the first time since signing with the Atlanta Hawks as a free agent last summer. Howard's return was received by a mix of boos and cheers during pregame introductions. Dwight Howard just shrugged off boos from the Houston Rockets' fans as the Hawks beat the Rockets 113-108, via a report from ESPN.
The reception was by far a different one than the one Dwight Howard received when he returned to Orlando as a Hawk early last month. After being called for a foul during that game, fans booed loudly and Howard mockingly joined the crowd in booing along, via a report from USA Today.
The Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 points down in the fourth period to come out with the win. Tim Hardaway, Jr. led the Hawks with a career-high 33 points, 23 of those points came in the fourth quarter.
Dwight Howard, 31, said after the game that the win felt good. Howard was also quick to add that there was no added motivation for him to beat his former team, the Houston Rockets.
It certainly didn't seem like there was no added motivation for Dwight Howard based on his stats. Howard finished the game with a huge double-double of 24 points, on 11-13 shooting from the field, and 23 rebounds. Howard also added 3 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks.
With the win, Dwight Howard and the Atlanta Hawks swept their season series against the Houston Rockets. The Hawks won in their first meeting in Atlanta back in November of last year.
Dwight Howard spent three seasons with the Houston Rockets. With Howard and James Harden leading the team, the Rockets reached the Western Conference Finals in 2015. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in 2014 by the Portland Trailblazers and by the Golden State Warriors in 2016.